what the stars looked like that night

Grandma was clearly
the exception in the family
qualifications, money
semi-detached house in Jersey Road, Osterley

A headmistress, seamstress
husband in the accountancy business
antiques, interests
drove down to visit, Easter, Christmas

Remarried at eighty
to Dennis, berthing there lately
liverish, shady
discharged drunk from the merchant navy

Moved this way
bungalow, blinds down all day
bills unpaid
an upright piano for an ashtray

When we’d call
Dennis watched from the door
disputed, deplored
rheumy eyes on a ruined floor

Suddenly they vanished
everything sold, bank accounts ravished
panic, anguish
a detective assessed with objective language

It was egregious
eventually tracked with police procedures
distressing features
dumped in a caravan, Bognor Regis

Dennis was ferocious
but his health was atrocious
coroner’s diagnosis?
chronic kidney disease and advanced cirrhosis

Grandma moved back
to a home, wheelchair, bric-a-brac
medicated, relaxed
blue hydrangeas blooming with swimming hats

A peaceful environment
we’d sit in sunny enlightenment
fuddled wonderment
curling smoke from a Peter Stuyvesant

When she died
it was late at night
stepped outside
silver pins in a pincushion sky

2 thoughts on “what the stars looked like that night

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